(CNN) – Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is denying a report of division within her staff over booking Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin as a guest.
“The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue,” Winfrey wrote in a statement issued Friday. “There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show.”
Citing sources that had spoken to the news Web site, a story posted Friday morning on The Drudge Report said “Oprah's staff is sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin.” “One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!,” the story also says.
But Winfrey, a longtime and outspoken supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, is flat-out denying the report. “At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates,” Winfrey wrote in the statement. “I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.”
In addition to holding a fundraiser for Obama, the media mogul has appeared on the campaign trail for the Illinois senator and she attended the recent Democratic convention where Obama became the first African-American to be named the presidential nominee of a major political party. “It filled us with a sense of hope and possibility that, you know, I never even, sort of, been able tap into,” Winfrey said about the convention. “It was beyond anything I’d ever experienced. It really was. It was a transcendent moment.”
(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey will be on hand when Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination in Denver – but the talk show host, who was a key presence at rallies for the Illinois senator during the primary season, won’t take the stage, a representative from her production company told CNN Wednesday.
The spokeswoman also denied rumors Winfrey was planning to spend thousands renting a home in Denver during the convention.
In June, shortly after Obama effectively clinched the Democratic nomination, Winfrey – who appeared with him in several key early-voting states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and California – said she was "euphoric” over his victory.
“I've been doing the happy dance all day,” she said in a statement then. “I'm so proud of Barack and Michelle and what this means for all of us, the new possibilities for our country.”
She added that she’d be happy to hit the trail again on his behalf: “And if he wants me to, I'm ready to go door to door."
(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey is ecstatic over Barack Obama’s apparent victory in this year’s Democratic presidential race.
"I'm euphoric, I've been doing the happy dance all day,” she said in a statement released Wednesday I'm so proud of Barack and Michelle and what this means for all of us, the new possibilities for our country.”
The talk show host, who campaigned for Obama in several key early primary states, added: “And if he wants me to, I'm ready to go door to door."
(CNN) - Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is set to headline a Barack Obama event in Los Angeles Sunday, two days before Democrats in California and 21 other states head to the polls.
The event will mark Winfrey's return to the campaign trail two months after the media mogul stumped for the Illinois senator in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, drawing record-breaking crowds and heavy media coverage.
Obama's wife Michelle and Caroline Kennedy will also attend the event, though the Illinois senator himself is scheduled to be in Delaware that day.
- CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report
Clinton and Bush are statistically tied as the nation's most admired man.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Looks like all of Bill Clinton's time on the campaign trail this year for his wife Hillary may be paying off in the polls for more than one member of the family.
Sitting presidents usually top Gallup's list of the country's most admired man, and this year is no exception: President Bush leads, as the choice of 10 percent of those polled. But in this survey, he's in a statistical tie with former President Bill Clinton, at 8 percent. In the last survey, there was an 8-point margin of separation, with Bush leading 13 to 5 percent, and a 17-point difference in a 2004 poll. (Full poll results [PDF])
Former Vice President Al Gore, who won several high-profile awards in 2007 for his work to raise awareness about climate change, also shot up in the poll - now in third place with 6 percent - 5 percentage points higher than last year.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama nudges out the Rev. Billy Graham and Nelson Mandela for fourth place with 5 percent. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani also make the list - all at 1 percent.
Hillary Clinton tops Gallup's most admired woman list, with 18 percent. But popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who has campaigned for Obama, Clinton's chief rival, is statistically tied with the New York Democrat at 16 percent. Both have gained in this year's poll: Clinton was at 13 percent in 2006 while Winfrey was at 9 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,011 Americans December 14-16, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Oprah and Obama were greeted by record crowds on the campaign trail last weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Oprah Winfrey's recent campaign swing with Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was greeted with wild cheers and record-breaking crowds.
But some of the talk show host's fans aren't happy she's become politically outspoken, and many are sounding off on Oprah's Web site.
"Oprah," says one, "count me as tuned out for now." Another writes, "It's a real turn off for a lot of your fans." And yet another says "She has crossed a line and lost my trust completely."
But, what's especially interesting about reading Oprah's Web site is why some of those fans seem to be upset: the way she stumped for Obama, they say, seemed to pit white against black.
"I've been inspired to believe that a new vision is possible for America,"
Oprah said while on the stump with Obama in South Carolina. "Dr. King dreamed the dream, we get to vote that dream into reality."
Back on Oprah's Web site, one commenter wrote, "Winfrey has artfully begun her stump speeches alongside Obama with a negative racial tone."
And another commenter wrote, "Don't pit blacks against whites."
Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday, Winfrey rejected the notion she is supporting Obama merely because he is black.
"I get a little..I guess the word is 'offended,'" Winfrey said. "To think that I would be supporting someone just because of their skin would mean we haven't moved far from Dr. King's speech in 1963, where he said we should be judged by the content of our character not the color of their skin."
In another interview, Winfrey told CNN that she weighed carefully whether she should get involved in politics, wondering whether she would "lose viewers as a result."
"I made the decision that I have the right to do it as an American citizen," she said.
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- CNN's Carol Costello
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Now you can take the Best Political Team with you on your iPod.
In the latest Best Political Podcast, Bill Schneider reports on new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll numbers that show Mike Huckabee in a virtual tie with Rudy Giuliani, Candy Crowley takes a look back at the "Oprah-bama" barnstorm through three early primary states, and Ed Henry has a report on the White House's reaction to the CIA tapes controversy.
Plus, everybody has to start somewhere. Wolf Blitzer tells you what some of the presidential candidates said about their worst jobs.
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(CNN) - Talk show host Oprah Winfrey ventured into presidential politics over the weekend. The media mogul made campaign stops in three key early primary states and rallied crowds on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama who is in a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Watch Candy Crowley's report about Winfrey's 'Oprah-bama' tour.
Related video: Jeanne Moos on Obama-Oprah soul
Suzanne Malveaux reports from Columbia, South Carolina about talk show host Oprah Winfrey's possible influence on these key voters - who are also the core of the media mogul's loyal viewership.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - The crowd traveled here from across South Carolina to see Oprah Winfrey speak, but the biggest applause line at Sunday's rally came straight from Barack Obama's stump speech: "The name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot" next year, he said to a huge roar from the audience.
"I'm sick of politics as usual," Winfrey told the crowd of 29,000 voters and 350 credentialed journalists at Williams-Brice Stadium, after an introduction from Obama's wife Michelle. "We need politicians who know how to tell the truth. But more importantly we need politicians who know how to be the truth."
Her speech, light on policy and heavy on the Illinois senator's message of change, was similar to the remarks she gave in Iowa on Saturday. But if the balmy weather and the football stadium weren't sign enough, it was clear from their speeches that they were in a different part of the country.